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Singapore Budget 2014: Plenty of goodies, but implementation is key, say panellists at roundtable

Published on Feb 24, 2014 5:45 AM

This year's Budget brings welcome relief for elderly Singaporeans, workers and companies alike, but the devil will be in the details.

Panellists at The Straits Times Budget Roundtable last Saturday said careful implementation will be important to make sure the benefits get to individuals and businesses in need, as some may not know how to access them.

The Pioneer Generation Package and measures to help with health-care costs in particular were welcomed, as these will lessen cost pressures on individual families and help strengthen inter-generational bonds, said Tsao Foundation chairman Mary Ann Tsao and Member of Parliament Lily Neo.

UOB's head of economic-treasury research and investor relations Jimmy Koh added that Budget 2014 continues the Government's recent trend of giving more help to older and lower-income Singaporeans, while health-care consultant Jeremy Lim of Oliver Wyman said the new initiatives should nudge society towards taking better care of each other.

(From left) MR HO MENG KIT CEO, Singapore Business Federation; MS GAN KWEE LIAN Tax partner, KPMG; MR JIMMY KOH UOB's head of economic-treasury research and investor relations; MS FIONA CHAN ST's senior economics correspondent; DR MARY ANN TSAO Chairman, Tsao Foundation; MR JEREMY LIM Head of Asia-Pacific health and life sciences at Oliver Wyman and; DR LILY NEO Member of Parliament. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

However, some of the announced moves will put more pressure on local companies struggling with rising costs and they could do with more help, said Singapore Business Federation chief executive Ho Meng Kit and KPMG tax partner Gan Kwee Lian.